How Search Engines Rank Web Sites
Search engines use several factors when listing your site, including: META Tags, site content, link popularity, keyword relevancy, and ALT tags. META Tags include, but are not limited to, the page title, keywords, and descriptions.
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- META Title
- The META "title" is used by most search engines when listing a site. The title also appears as your link in the search results and in the title bar of your browser.
- META Description
- Search engines use the META "description" to describe what a website has to offer, helping Internet users to decide what site they should click on. Descriptions are mini classified ads for your site. The "description" also plays a role in determining when and where your site appears on search engines.
- META Keywords
- Keywords help some search engines to categorize your site when searches are done. When creating a list of keywords for your site think in terms of what your potential clients would search for.
- Site Content
- The most important and most overlooked factor in your placement. Search engines will scan your website and use the text-based (not graphics or Flash) content to help rank the site. Search engines want to see the same words in both the META tags as well as the content of the site. The more content your site offers the better it will generally do on search engines.
- Keyword Relevancy
- Search engines will calculate your keyword relevancy by selecting a keyword from your META tags. Then, a count of the number of times that keyword appears in the text of that Web page is performed, after which the total number of words on that page are counted. It will then divide the number of keywords by the total number of words. Your keyword relevancy should be between 5% and 9%.
- Link Popularity
- Some search engines will rank your site higher if you have a number of relevant links linking to your site. Your site will appear to be more popular and contain the information people want.
- ALT Tagss
- Search engines will also use the alternative text associated with photos (but not the photos themselves) to help rank the site.